Although a physical examination may not be required, it's advisable to check patients' vital signs because of the adverse effect of stress on blood pressure and heart rate. Furthermore, a screening medical examination may indicate an underlying medical condition, such as anemia or a cardiac problem. Symptoms of adjustment disorder include sadness, anxiety, insomnia, poor concentration, and anger. However, pediatric symptoms often differ from those of adults and can include depressed/irritable mood, sleep disturbances, and poor school performance. Unfortunately, no diagnostic decision tree is available for adjustment disorder, limiting the reliability of the diagnosis.
Adjustment disorder may progress to a depressive or anxiety disorder. Substance abuse, including use of alcohol and illicit drugs as well as smoking, may worsen.
For more about the clinical presentation and complications of adjustment disorder, read here.
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Cite this: Stephen Soreff. Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Adjustment Disorder? - Medscape - Dec 16, 2016.